Paddy Crewe presents his brilliantly original debut to author and critic Erica Wagner. It is 1815 in a small town in Georgia, when Yip Tolroy – mute and a social outcast – is born. His mother struggles to manage his needs, leaving Yip to find his own way in a hostile environment. He begins to transform his life by learning to read and write, his portal into the community a piece of slate and supply of chalk. At 15, his life is altered irrevocably when he witnesses the discovery of gold and commits a grievous crime that leaves him with no choice but to flee. Thrust into a world of violence, Yip and his unlikely comrade Dud are forced to leave town and embark on an odyssey across the wonder and horror of the American frontier.